Now that we have your attention...
No, we’re not saying all CPAs only work to afford money for beers. But the idea that many accountants and CPAs have recognized the importance of moving away from only doing taxes is not far off.
The sooner you stop focusing solely on compliance for your clients and embracing the Advisory model, the sooner you can start to grow your business by providing value to your existing clientele.
Go deep with your clients and realize the real earnings are beyond doing taxes. But if you want to still offer taxes as a favor to your advisory clients, do it only for a bit of extra income.
Here’s why your CPA firm should embrace the advisory side of accounting.
The technology, shifting demographic factors, tax, and regulatory changes, as well as a multitude of other factors, are all having a profound impact on accountants.
This post is about the factors driving the dynamics of the future of accounting and how you might adjust and reform your business practices.
Your clients will soon be looking for more than tax preparation services if they aren’t already. A whole host of changes will affect individuals and small businesses looking for expert advice with regards to their money management. A financial planner is not always the option here.
More and more clients are looking to their CPA firms to be both their catalyst and their guide in making sure these documents and decisions are leading them where they want to go.
Millennials need and want your strategic guidance.
Many Millennials are misunderstood when it comes to financial and business planning. They are not all self-reliant rebels who want things done their way or not at all. On the contrary, Millennials are looking for as much advice regarding their accounts as the next person.
Despite the advent of technology, particularly social media, it does not replace the in-person learning environment. In other words, even the most digital and tech-savvy of us are looking for a personal touch when it comes to financial advisory services. These services are now considered to be the future of accounting.
Millennials are looking for someone they can trust when it comes to advice and guidance with regards to their finances. You must understand what their personal and business goals are, plus be able to identify with their needs in order to earn this trust. This means providing relevant knowledge and advice that makes sense for their business and finances, not just yours.
Don’t be afraid to embrace technology.
When it comes to technology in accounting and advisory, your options are constantly advancing. Because tech is an ever-evolving field, the more accountants and firms adopt tech, the faster it will be developed to better suit your needs. Advancements in technology can now take the guesswork out of financial modeling, and you will be able to provide your clients with “what if” scenarios given the different paths their personal or business finances may take on.
In this regard, technology is not an obstacle or a replacement for advisory services. It simply leads to better relationships with your clients as it allows you to provide more accurate advice in the long run.
Not only does technology have an impact on how you conduct and operate your business internally, but it also improves the way you do business, and will soon be expected from clients and prospects. The sooner your firm embraces these advancements in technology, the further ahead you will be when tech is the only option available in your field.
Here are a few tips regarding the future of accounting technology.
Show your clients and prospects you're committed to online presence and digital technology. Stay up to date with your website. Create a blog and use it regularly. Use social profiles. Your clients expect your presence where they are also present digitally.
Make sure that your clients have real-time access to their online accounts. Provide tools that make it easy for them to maintain these accounts and engaging with your firm to ask questions whenever they are curious. A 24/7 support desk would be beneficial, or at least a knowledge base on how to use their accounts until someone can get back to them. Dryrun is a great platform for this exact purpose. It makes interfacing with your clients extremely accessible and easy to do.
Be visible and available online. Set up an online chat, FAQs on your website, email regularly with clients, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, for example, but don't go too far if you can't be responsive. Just steadily increase your presence and you will begin to grow a following.
Also, adopt a comprehensive platform internally that integrates customer relationship management, accounting, prospecting, time management, billing, scheduling, and other essential functions.
Do you think reforming your firm in a new advisory structure is a great opportunity or a necessity given the digital age we’re in?
Anyway the cookie crumbles, it’s a bit of both in our opinion.
It really depends on what type of clients you have, whether they are starting to need these services, or whether they will in the future. It also depends on the type of firm you want to be. If you want to close down operations in a few years and retire, you may not need to pivot your entire operations. If you want to be around for generations to come, you will need to adapt to what the market is currently offering by offering the same (or better) service to your clients.
Adopting an advisory mindset does not happen overnight, but we can help the transition to be a lot smoother than if you were starting from scratch.
Providing advisory services and a sense of security is essential for the next generation of accountants, and the next generation of accounting clients.
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